IRAC action against killing of tribal villagers in police firing in Chhattisgarh

On 18 May 2021, the Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) filed a complaint  with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the killing of three tribal villagers in police firing near CRPF camp at Silger village in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on 17 May 2021.

On 12 May 2021, security forces set up a CRPF camp at Silger village in Sukma district, despite strong opposition from the locals. The local tribals did not want the camp to be set up due to militarization of the area. Hence, tribals from over 30 villages of Sukma and Bijapurdistricts had been protesting outside the camp in a peaceful manner. But on 17 May, the police opened fire on a gathering of hundreds of unarmed tribals killing three persons.

The villagers identified the dead as Kawasi Wagha, 37 years, from Chutwai; Korsa Bhima, 32 years, from Gundam; and Uika Murali, 22 years, from Timmapuram.

The locals claimed that they their protest was peaceful but the security forces used disproportionate force. The killing of tribal protestors by the security forces is gross violation of their right to life.

In addition, eighteen tribal protestors were injured in the police action. They were admitted at Sukma field hospital and Bijapur district hospital. It is reported that Police have also detained five people, including a woman.

In its complaint to the NHRC, the Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) has demanded the immediate intervention of the National Human Rights Commission and to direct the state government of Chhattisgarh to order a judicial inquiry into the killing of three tribals in firing; to direct the state government of Chhattisgarh and the Ministry of Home Affairs to prosecute any member of the security forces if found guilty by the enquiry commission; direct the state government of Chhattisgarh and the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased; and to provide free medical treatment to all the injured persons and provide compensation of Rs 3 lakhs each; and further, to direct the state government of Chhattisgarh to release all the detained protestors immediately.

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